Can RFID Track Personal Belongings?

By RFID Journal

  • TAGS
Ask The ExpertsCan RFID Track Personal Belongings?
RFID Journal Staff asked 9 years ago

Do you foresee a time when tags will be small enough for this use?

—Name withheld


Tags are already small enough to be used to track personal belongings. I think the issue is getting readers in the hands of individuals, or in homes. No one will create and sell a reader for home use if home owners need to buy tags, stick them on the stuff they own and then associate each tag with a particular item. When tags come embedded in products for security and inventory-management use, then consumers will be able to—and have a reason to—buy a reader and use the tags for their own benefit.

I believe that smartphones will eventually have short-range ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) readers in them to interrogate the tags on items in stores and embedded in products. Many cell phones already have Near Field Communication (NFC) readers, and companies will use NFC tags to interact with consumers, but UHF tags will be more common because they will be used for inventory-management purposes (there are already dual NFC-UHF tags, which might become more common). That will be the first step toward consumer use: reading tags via your phone. Long-term, products will have embedded tags that consumers will control, and I foresee new houses eventually being constructed with RFID readers in the ceilings of rooms, in order to locate the items within.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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